For months, scientists and public health experts have warned of mounting evidence that the novel coronavirus is airborne, transmitted through tiny droplets called aerosols that linger in the air much longer than the larger globs that come from coughing or sneezing.
Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agrees. The CDC recently changed its official guidance to note that aerosols are “thought to be the main way the virus spreads” and to warn that badly ventilated indoor spaces are particularly dangerous.“
There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet (for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes),” the agency stated. “In general, indoor environments without good ventilation increase this risk.”
The health department’s top communications official is taking a medical leave, three days after urging President Trump’s supporters to prepare for an armed insurrection and accusing government scientists of “sedition,” the agency announced Wednesday.
Michael Caputo, assistant secretary for public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, leveled the accusations and promoted other conspiracy theories in a Facebook Live event on Sunday.HHS said in a statement released early afternoon that Caputo would be on leave for the next 60 days to “focus on his health and the well-being of his family.” That means he will be gone until after the Nov. 3 election.
The agency also said that Paul Alexander, a top aide to Caputo, would be leaving the agency permanently. Alexander came under scrutiny in recent weeks for his efforts to exert control over the messages coming from scientists and top health officials, including the content of weekly science reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to make them conform to the president’s assertions that the virus is under control.
(CNN) A Covid-19 outbreak at a Georgia sleep away camp this June could have implications for school reopening, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.The camp had followed some but not all of the CDC mitigation steps against the spread of the new coronavirus — but was not enough to keep campers and staff free of illness.
“Settings, like multi-day, overnight summer camps, pose a unique challenge when it comes to preventing the spread of infectious diseases considering the amount of time campers and staff members spend in close proximity,” the CDC wrote in a statement.
“Our best estimate right now is that for every case that’s reported, there actually are 10 other infections,” CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said on a call with reporters Thursday.
The assessment comes from looking at blood samples across the country for the presence of antibodies to the virus. For every confirmed case of COVID-19, 10 more people had antibodies, Redfield said, referring to proteins in the blood that indicate whether a person’s immune system has previously fought off the coronavirus.
Those samples aren’t just from people who have had antibody testing. They also come from testing performed on donated blood at blood banks or from other laboratory testing of blood.
Currently, there are 2.3 million COVID-19 cases reported in the U.S. The CDC’s new estimate pushes the actual number of coronavirus cases up to at least 23 million.